Carm’s Corner: Bidding You Farewell

Columnist fondly remembers a lesson in cursive handwriting


CARM’S CORNER: BIDDING YOU FAREWELL– Carmen Breitenbach bids Central High adieu.

Carmen Breitenbach, Columnist

During my Junior year here at Central, a close friend of mine asked if writing a column sounded fun to me or if I’d be interested in doing it for school. Not knowing what the next year of school had in store for me I told her yes and how it sounded like it could be pretty cool. I joined the Digest in the fall of 2021 for my first and final year. Most of my peers in the class had already been a part of the Digest for far longer than I had, and at times I felt behind and for the most part, that I had been missing out. However, I believe that just pushed me to be more “up-to-par” on the standards that the Central Digest represents. 

The Digest and Mr. Cantrell have taught me far more than just what a good writing piece looks like. One of the most prominent examples of this was when Mr. Cantrell lent me cursive writing papers that were a guide to cursive for beginners. The teaching of cursive writing in schools seems almost obsolete, but not if Mr. Cantrell has anything to say about it. After the first paper he gave me, every time I went back into his class I always wanted more. This may seem silly to most people and insignificant and most are probably expecting a cliche on how his teaching changed my writing forever; however, I only got to have one year with Mr. Cantrell and this action is what stood out to me the most. This action represents who Mr. Cantrell is as a teacher and what he wants for his students. He wants to teach his students more than just being grammatically-correct and bestows each student who passes through his class knowledge that the education system can’t give you on its own. It’s only through teachers like Mr. Cantrell — teachers who care more about the students’ lives after high school instead of simply what they can teach you in the moment and move on once you’re gone. 

Not only has Mr. Cantrell been a pillar of knowledge but so have all the other teachers that Central High has provided me over the last four years. I had English teachers like Mr. Kevin Parsons freshman year who captivated me with Brutus stabbing Caesar in the back along with Romeo and Juliet being a figment of a great writer’s imagination. I had Mr. Trevor Brittingham sophomore year telling me over zoom the definition of a “mole.” The last I heard, if you had one of those you should go to the doctor to have it checked out. I had Ms. Tina Cotreau junior year who taught us about cell signaling when she didn’t have to because the cell towers take care of that for us. Then for my final and most bittersweet year of high school, I had some of the best teachers. Mr. James Massengale taught me all the crazy eras of our nation’s history and Mr. Shawn Seals showing me what the very first Champion yearbook of Central High ever looked like. My time spent with some of these teachers was short lived due to COVID-19 but each one left a little piece of what this school represents with me. 

Lastly, before I start going on tangents and nothing making sense anymore, I want to thank some people. Starting the year out on the Digest staff, I knew eventually I would have to sit down and write a “goodbye column.” Before my very first column, I looked back at all the columnists in the past and what they had written for their very first and very last column. I knew this year would be great and that I’d have to one day try and sum it up, but what I didn’t know at the time was how soon this goodbye column would get here. To start, I want to thank Karleigh Schwarzl for getting me into this whole shebang in the first place. The Central Digest has been a memorable and encouraging place for my writing to grow. I also want to thank Kendra Jones for being the only person who would agree to be on the media team with me for three weeks last semester so I wouldn’t have to do it alone. We were both way out of our comfort zones, but we did it together and learned a lot about ourselves. I’d like to thank Luke Keown for always being willing to proofread anything I handed him before I even put it in to be drafted and edited on the website. I also had a ton of questions the first few weeks of starting with the Digest and he gave me a lot of good advice for my writing and how to approach doing interviews. Thank you, Luke. Lastly, I want to thank Mr. Cantrell for the guidance and patience (especially this last semester) he has given me. I want to thank him for creating an environment where we learned so much more that can go beyond the walls of Central High. 

I wish nothing but the best for the next generation of Digest seniors and staff. You guys will carry the torch that is the Central Digest with grace and determination. Carry on the media team, as well, as the crazy and powerful stories that go on in the hallways of Central High.

My time with the Digest was short-lived but if you have the opportunity to take up residency here early on, it is something I would highly recommend. 

— Carmen Brietenbach, 2022 Columnist

Farewell, Central High School!